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Posted on 23 April 2010 at 14:44 GMT

Vote Chris Flood, Jess Leech and Ian Page

Lewisham Socialist Party Education newsletter

Lewisham Socialist Party Education newsletter

To protect schools from privatisation & cuts, vote Chris Flood, Jess Leech and Ian Page in the Lewisham council elections on May 6th
SINCE THE last local elections in 2006, Lewisham's New Labour council has ignored the wishes of local parents and followed their instructions from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to privatise schools.

Monson handed over to Aske's

FOR YEARS, Haberdashers' Aske's unfair admissions policies have prevented many local children from getting a place at their nearest secondary school.

Instead of demanding that they ditch their separate banding arrangements, New Labour rewarded Aske's by giving them control of a local authority primary school, Monson - now Hatcham Temple Grove.

Two public consultations had overwhelmingly rejected the plan. The Socialist Party councillors, Ian Page and Chris Flood, proposed a council motion saying that local parents should be balloted to see what they really wanted.

None of the other parties supported Ian and Chris. So much for all their talk about 'parental choice'!

Stop the 'Goldsmiths taking over more schools

IN 2006, Lewisham New Labour kept quiet about the plans for Monson until after the local elections were over.

In 2010, they are keeping quiet about the plan to give control of Crossways Academy, Deptford Green and Addey & Stanhope schools to a 'Trust' controlled by Goldsmiths.

Under the plan, the schools would no longer be accountable to an elected council or individual governing body.

Instead, a small number of Trustees would be given control of the three schools. The Socialist Party supports local parents and trade unions that reject the Trust. We fear that if the Trust plans go through, it could be a dangerous step towards the whole of secondary education in Lewisham being broken up into competing federations, increasing educational inequalities.

Together, we must campaign to defend fair, comprehensive education for all.

Breaking up local authority schools

ASKE'S EXPANSION hasn't ended with Temple Grove. They also have been given a new Academy in Bexley. Lewisham council are helping their Knight's Academy take over a nearby primary school too. But these 'chains' of privatised Academies are exactly what New Labour's manifesto for the general election calls for.

They want to break-up local council services and hand them over to unelected organisations. The Socialist Party opposes privatisation. Competing education businesses will run schools for their own interests, not what's best for local families.

That's why local education should be run by an elected local authority. Chris Flood, Jess Leech and Ian Page believe that you elect councillors to run schools, not to give them away!

The Monson school fire

THE RECENT fire at Hatcham Temple Grove-Monson is a warning about the problems to come in the future if schools and other public services are given away to private concerns.

Significantly, it is the council, not the 'Aske's Federation', that has stepped in and provided alternative school accommodation for Temple Grove pupils - just as council tax payers had to step in and bail out London Underground's refurbishment plans when the 'private partner' Metronet couldn't deliver.

Isn't it obvious that an accountable local authority is best placed, not just to be there for emergencies, but to plan for the needs of all? Divided, privatised services, on the other hand, will fail local communities.

Labour policies create school places shortages - fund education properly!

Where did you Lewisham Socialist Party councillors stand? - Education newsletter

Where did you Lewisham Socialist Party councillors stand? - Education newsletter

FOR YEARS, Lewisham's New Labour councillors ignored parents' concerns about a lack of local secondary places.

Now they have helped create a crisis in places for children starting primary school and for pupils with special educational needs.

The Socialist councillors called for the demolition of Lewisham Bridge primary school to be halted - at least until there was a proper review to check if the plan would still leave enough primary school places.

Once again, no other party backed us. Now the council have had to admit that they are desperately short of reception class places. But they have failed to win government funds to build more schools. Children will be squeezed into 'mixed age' classes or into temporary classrooms put up in school playgrounds.

Yet many schools are already short on play space. We also questioned the council's predictions when they proposed reorganising special schools, including the closure of Meadowgate School in Revelon Road.

New figures confirm that Lewisham will need to make provision for hundreds more children with statements of special needs than the council originally predicted.

All of our children deserve a good education. The next council will need extra funding to meet the growing needs in our community. But the next government - whoever is elected - will be making cuts instead. That's why Telegraph Hill needs to elect Socialist councillors on May 6th to fight council cuts and defend education in Lewisham.

A chance for a third voice to defend education in Telegraph Hill

Vote Chris FLOOD, Jess LEECH and Ian PAGE

Vote Chris FLOOD, Jess LEECH and Ian PAGE

IAN AND CHRIS were re-elected with increased votes at the last local elections in 2006. But New Labour narrowly defeated the third socialist candidate, Jess Leech, standing in Telegraph Hill for the first time.

For the last four years Lewisham has been a 'hung council' - no one party has had an overall majority in the council chamber.

Every councillor's vote has counted. If Jess, with three children being educated locally, had been elected in 2006, she wouldn't have given New Labour a narrow majority for youth service cuts or voted against the (still to be built!) new secondary school being a community school.

But with Jess standing again on May 6th, we now have another chance to elect a third campaigning voice for education in Telegraph Hill.

In the election for Lewisham's mayor the Socialist Party is backing the People Before Profit candidate, John Hamilton, the long-standing new school campaigner - also from Telegraph Hill!

Printed by E-Ten Offset, Arch 128, Beaumont Road, E10 5BJ. Promoted by C Heemskerk, 17 Colebert House, Colebert Ave, E1 4JP on behalf of the Socialist Alternative candidates

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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